The Decay of Lying

“If we take Nature to mean natural simple instinct as opposed to self-conscious culture, the work produced under this influence is always old-fashioned, antiquated, and out of date. One touch of Nature may make the whole world kin, but two touches of nature will surely destroy any work of Art. If on the other hand, we regard Nature as the collection of phenomenon external to man, people only discover in her what they bring to her. She has no suggestions of her own” ( Wilde, 485).


Richter, David H., ed. The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2007.

This excerpt seems to fall in line with the comment Vivian makes about Impressionists influencing the fog in London, “One does not see anything until one sees  its beauty. Then, and then only, does it come into existence.” It is interesting that the fogs of the time were often caused by human influence (pollution). So then, is it really nature?